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Should the Portland Timbers Move Up in the Draft?

MLS: Combine Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 MLS SuperDraft is coming up at noon today and the Portland Timbers have the No. 10 pick, giving them a good chance at bringing in a player who could some day develop into a serious contributor for the side.

Or, with some wheeling and dealing, the Timbers could move up in the draft and take a chance on one of the highly rated youngsters who have impressed at this year’s combine.

Snagging a name like Jeremy Ebobisse or Abu Danladi could certainly pay dividends, but in order to make a move, the Timbers would need to give something up. So, which players could tempt the Timbers into taking that sort of chance? And just what bargaining chips could the Timbers put on the table?

The Big Names

These are the players at the top of everyone’s big board; the guys who will be gone long before the No. 10. These are the players that are hopefully more Keegan Rosenberry or Cyle Larin than Nick Besler or Omar Salgado.

Jeremy Ebobisse, Forward, Duke

While everything has been quiet on the Fanendo Adi front this offseason and there is every reason to believe that the Timbers’ top scorer is returning for 2017, the fact that he was angling for a transfer all too recently still haunts the Timbers roster. And while Adi’s eventual departure would certainly open up a DP slot and come with a big ol’ transfer fee, it sure would be nice to bring in the best forward in the draft to start a real succession plan for the big man.

Miles Robinson, Center Back, Syracuse

Despite signing Rennico Clarke yesterday, the Timbers will need at least one more center back on their roster going into this season and nobody else in this draft class has shown as much promise as Robinson who has spent time in the US’s youth national teams and is being pegged as a future first teamer with the USMNT. Of course, if you are at all worried about your depth at center back, then having two of five players at the position 21 or younger could be a little nerve-wracking.

Abu Danladi, Forward/Winger, UCLA

Forget the Timbers needs for a second; Caleb Porter loves him a goal dangerous winger looking to cut inside and with Danladi he could have the next Gyassi Zardes: a physical specimen forced onto the wing until someone eventually gives him a chance up top, which is almost certainly his better position anyway.

Jackson Yueill, Midfielder, UCLA

Just about the only center midfielder in the draft that everyone can agree is worth top billing, Yueill could be just what the Timbers need when it comes to shoring up a midfield that is looking strong at the top but surprisingly shallow. A No. 8 at heart, Yueill is a versatile player who could line up just about anywhere in the midfield, and could provide a true successor for 30 year old Diego Chara in the future. (Fun fact: Darlington Nagbe and David Guzman, each 26, are the youngest CM’s currently on the Timbers’ roster.)

The Trade Bait

Here is an incomplete list of things that the Timbers just might be willing to part with or package up if it moves them up the draft order.

The No. 10 Pick

On its own the No. 10 is obviously not going to do much for teams, but it could be bundled in with just about anything else on this list to make a much more enticing package. Of course, if the Timbers were to hold on to the No. 10 and trade for higher pick as well it would be the first time in the team’s history that they have picked twice in the first round.


It almost feels unfair putting this on the list as we just have no idea how much of it anyone has, wants, or needs, but when you are talking about trades in modern day MLS, you would be crazy not to include GAM and TAM. We do know, however, that the Timbers will have plenty of use for both types of allocation money as they deal with the contracts of Darlington Nagbe, Diego Chara, and Liam Ridgewell, all of which are over the DP threshold.

Jack McInerney

If there is one player on the Timbers roster who is currently expendable it is Jack Mac. Although he scored a thoroughly average number of goals for a forward coming off the bench last season, McInerney could find himself surplus to requirements if Caleb Porter decides that he would rather have Darren Mattocks as his second option at forward or that Ebobisse or Danladi could be the heir apparent to Adi.

Do you think that the Timbers will trade up? Should they? Let us know in the comments.